Chapter 14

The title gaijin face of Bikkle pertains to Billy Prion. Billy Prion, an American, advertises a drink that is truly Japanese. (the irony of it)
- gaijin means foreigner in Japanese gaijin-black.GIF
- Bikkle is a yoghurt drink in Japan bikkle.jpg

The chapter opens with Cayce in Japan already. Cayce describes the skyline of Tokyo as remarkably virtual looking, a floating jumble of electric Lego, as if you'd need special Tokyo add-ons to buiid it. The skyline of Tokyo is what sets her apart from other fast-paced cities in the world.

The picture of Keiko "photoshoped" by Musashi and Parkaboy is sent to Cayce via attachement in her email. Keiko is pictured in a school girl outfit but still provocative. Parkaboy and Musashi believes that this "school girl outfit" is Taki's fetish.

Cayce goes for a walk along the streets of Tokyo but dresses up as a guy to feel more safe and comfortable. She does this as to avoid getting attention from others. Cayce reaches a place called Kabukicho, where "men have fun". This makes her uncomfortable so she decides to go back to the hotel. This frenzy of people towards sex is seen all over the world. You can find a Kabukicho in any part of the world.

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Chapter 14 – The Gaijin Face of Bikkle

1. Re-contextualization is one of the evident themes explored throughout the book. In this chapter, we see that Billy Prion is the epitome of someone who has been “re-contextualized” – Prion, being part of defunct band, used to be so popular in the West but eventually became a D-list celebrity. However, because of Information Society, his celebrity extends beyond the geographical barriers and he reaches up to Japan, where he is utilized to promote (as a foreigner who patronize) a local brand of beverages. Another occurrence of re-contextualization is when Cayce Pollard does not at any time during her stay in Japan feel the reaction of her allergy to brands when she sees Burberry, Mont Blanc, and Gucci – probably because the brands are mysteriously placed or targeted to the Japanese market.

Jasmine Trias promoting Hapee Toothpaste

Alicia Silverstone, of Clueless fame, promoting local brand, Kamiseta

2. In the middle of the chapter, we find Cayce Pollard walking along the streets of Kabukicho – according to William Gibson, they hold different establishments such as “mahjong parlors, tiny bars with highly specialized clienteles, sex shops, video porn, and probably much else.”

In light of the title of the chapter, here is a video of a Gaijin guide in Shinjuko (the station from which Cayce got off) and Kabukicho:

Here’s a video of a tour in Shinjuku’s biggest entertainment district:

Here’s a video of Kabukicho in its nocturnal glory:

3. Judy Tsuzuki, a person Parkaboy created in order to lure Taki into giving Cayce more details about the video’s origin, is an example of Idoru

Judy Tsuzuki, five-foot-eleven and about as Japanese as you are… we shot this long tall Judy then reduced her by at least a third, in Photoshop. Cut’n’pasted her into Musashi’s kid sister’s dorm room at Cal…. we decided to try enlarging her eyes a few clicks… and the resulting big round eyes are pure Anime Magic.

They created an Idoru = Idol. According to this, the reason of the creation of Idorus is because the Japanese adore pop culture so much they are willing to build it out of thin air.

quoted As popularized in William Gibson’s Idoru, Japan has devised the entirely virtual pop singer, one without corporeal reality. In olden days, a pop singer was a person with a physical body and a voice. Then, with lip-synching (Cf. Milli Vanilli), we graduated to singers with physical bodies but modified or augmented or replaced voices. The Japanese, not content to leave well enough alone, cut out the physical part altogether. The idoru, or idol, was born – of electrons, not atoms.

Here’s a video example of an Idoru:

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